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 Where did it all go wrong for Destiny's Child? ...



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 'Something huge is about to happen,' Le Toya says ...



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 'It's like a sore that just festers,' Kelly says ...



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 Exiled Child LeToya calls the separation strange ...





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MTV News' John Norris met the new Destiny's Child -- Beyoncé, Kelly, and new recruits Farrah and Michelle -- at the group's home base in Houston on March 29. Here's some of their conversation about the split.

John Norris: It's been a tumultuous last couple of months for you guys. Everything's going well? You seem to be surviving it.

Beyoncé: Yes. We're very, very blessed right now. We have the number one single, "Say My Name," which is a blessing.... [We're] very grateful the fans are still standing by us. We've actually sold over a million records since the change, which is a great thing for us.

JN: Have things been as smooth with this transition? As smooth as it appears to us?

Kelly: It's been so smooth, like Beyoncé said. The fans have been wonderful, and like, every show we've been doing, the crowds are incredible.... We just want to thank everybody out there for supporting Destiny's Child, still.

JN: Now I saw the [Madison Square] Garden show last week. You guys take a moment to introduce Farrah and Michelle. The response has been good from people?

All: Very.

Farrah: It's a blessing. We were kinda scared in the beginning that people aren't gonna accept us, but everyone has been very, very great. I've been getting fan letters from little kids, like, "Farrah!" and I'm like "Hey, they know my name!"

JN: What kind of things have they been saying to you? Just welcoming you?

Farrah: Yeah. I've already had girls coming up to me saying, "You're my favorite already," and I'm like, "Thank you!" [Laughs] Yeah, everyone's been very positive, and I got a letter from a twelve-year-old girl that was like, "God put this challenge in front of Destiny's Child to better you guys, and I feel this is true," and [for] a twelve-year-old to say something like that, she's definitely touched.

Kelly: We get some incredible letters from fans, and you know, we just feel very blessed and honored that we can change some people's lives out there, and we're just very happy to be where we are today, definitely.

Beyoncé: Now here we are. We have the two new members, and we're still working hard and trying to achieve our goals, and we're just grateful.

Kelly: We're blessed and can't complain.

JN: You know, ten years, and I guess you guys were around ten years old when this began.... This was a group that had as much to do with a friendship as it did with four people who happened to be working together.

Beyoncé: Exactly.

JN: So what is the toll that this change has taken on you guys in terms of your friendship with LaTavia and LeToya?

Kelly: Well, we have not spoke to the girls, since... when? It's been a while. Since January. But yes, it has taken a huge toll on Beyoncé and I, but we're working through everything. I mean, we have Farrah and Michelle here to comfort us, and [Beyonce and I] have each other to comfort, because this is my sister, first and foremost, above anything. And management has been so supportive to us, Sony has been so supportive, the fans. We're just here still being strong as ever and just still delivering hits and just being strong for everybody out there, because this is what we want to do, and this is where our hearts are.

JN: I ran into you with LeToya and LaTavia at the LIFEbeat show [on December 1], and at the time, from my point of view, everything seemed to be fine. Was this a sudden thing from your point of view, or was it something that was built up over time and didn't really surprise you all that much?

Beyoncé: it was definitely something that was happening for a while. We were always taught to be very professional and work out our differences between each other...

K: And communicate.

Beyoncé: Always try to communicate. But we were having problems for a while.

Kelly: There was a lack of communication and loyalty on their part, and when there's a lack of that, then the group starts getting this... like a... it's like a sore that just festers, and it just grows, and it gets worse. Then it becomes infected. And that's exactly what happened. But things have worked out for the best. There's a cure. Now we have Farrah and Michelle, like I said, and we're even stronger.

Beyoncé: We said that we would all have meetings once a week to talk about things that were bothering us, and a lot of the times, Kelly and I would be open, and the other ladies, I guess, obviously would hold things in. But we would also go back in interviews and say, "The key to a group is communication," and we would always say that we communicate. So that's a strong key in a group. Without communication, there's nothing. There's four different people, four different opinions. You have to communicate and compromise and do whatever is best for the group.

Kelly: We were brought up as a team ever since this group first started, and we think that it's very, very important to have the mindset as a team. You can't just think about yourself. If you need to talk about something, if someone has made you mad, yo, lay it right there, down on the line, just say it, "Look, you made me upset," communicate it, splat, it's done. You keep on going. That makes the group even stronger.

JN: I know LeToya and LaTavia issued a letter that had to do with management in December. I guess what they had said with that letter was that their intent was never to leave the group. Do you guys feel that that was the only alternative at that point?

Beyoncé: I feel like to fire a manager, half of the group, I feel like you don't do that without talking to the other half of the group.

K: Communication comes in again.

Beyoncé: I think, well, I know that Kelly and I were on the phone talking to Columbia Records about the video for "Say My Name," and while we're doing this, we're getting a letter to the office that [LeToya and LaTavia] fired our management, and I don't think that's a decision that can be made by half of the group. I think if they felt that, first of all, they should have discussed it in the meeting that we had just recently had... I don't think that a letter should be sent without discussing anything.

JN: When those letters came in, was your feeling that, "You know what, the only way to handle this is we've gotta split?"

Beyoncé: Definitely.

Kelly: That was the straw that broke the camel's back. Honestly. You just can't go back then. We were just stressed, emotionally stressed. There was something brought up every day, and we were constantly hiding it, and trying to work through it, but... [shakes head]

Beyoncé: It wasn't only the fact that they fired our manager, who is my father --

Kelly: But it doesn't even have anything to do with Matthew being her father. It's the fact that he's been there since the beginning for us. Not only as a manager but as a protector, as someone there that's like a father, but a manager first and foremost, and always been supporting us since day one.

Beyoncé: They had no reason to fire him. I mean, if you ask them why, they can bring up lots of things that they say, but they had no reason to fire him. I think that's why they didn't discuss it with us before.

JN: If you go online and you see all these fan postings, and a lot of them speculate that the girls felt like they weren't getting their fair share of material things... [LaTavia and LeToya] said to Chris [Connelly, of MTV News] that it was more about control. Obviously, they want to have more input and more say-so into the group than they had when they were little girls.

Beyoncé: I don't understand how they didn't. As far as our album titles, our videos, our clothes, our songs -- Destiny's Child came up with all of that. There have been many occasions where we've asked, "Okay, it's time to come up with the title." They never gave any input. It got to the point where they no longer cared. It was like, "Okay, I want to get my check," and that's it. Their interest and the hunger for being a member of Destiny's Child and having fans and performing, it was no longer there. It was no longer a passion and a love, it was more like a job.

K: We started bumping heads on that.

JN: Did it turn into a sort of "you vs. them?"

Beyoncé: Yes.

Kelly: It was obvious. The writing was on the wall. If you read the thank-yous in the album "The Writing's On The Wall," it's very obvious that there was two against two there.

Beyoncé: In the beginning stages, when we were young kids, we did everything as a group. And I understand once you get older, and you're around people for so long, you want to take a break. That's fine and that's understandable if you don't wanna see each other every day or whatever. But when it becomes a separation with everything, then it becomes a conflict in the group. When you're a group, then you have to be a group. You can't be two and two. Anyone who ever was around us would notice that two would be here, two would be there. That can't work in a group. Everyone has to work as one. That's why we're Destiny's Child, not Children. We feel like we represent one.


NEXT: Exiled Child LeToya calls the separation strange ...
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Photo: Getty

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